Is Home Birth Right for Me?
Let's begin with a little bit of tough-ish love: No one but you, can answer this question.
When it comes to making choices around birth, you as the person who will be giving birth are the one who knows what is best — not your family members, friends, celebrity crushes or your favorite social media feeds. Where and with whom you plan to welcome your babe into the world is a decision that is made by you and involves your heart, your intuition and your brain. Here are a few things to consider as you explore your options:
- Are you in good health? Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that make hospital birth a wiser choice?
http://mmgstandards.org/standards-of-care-2017 (take a peek at pages 21-22).
- Is this your first birth? How do you feel about an increased chance of transport to a hospital during labor?
Un-Fun-Fact: First-time, full-term laborers are the most common people to transport from home to hospital during labor, primarily due to exhaustion with a need for IV therapy, desire for pharmaceutical pain management, desire/need for oxytocic medications or a need for continuous monitoring and a fresh pair of birth-worker eyes.
NOTE (and we cannot emphasize this enough): First-time moms have amazing births, all the time.
- Are your living conditions (or the conditions of the home in which you plan to give birth) safe?
Lack of violence in the home, access to electricity and running water, ease of transport (emergency vehicles can get to your residence and first responders can quickly get to you if you need them), a clean house — these are things to look at, when considering birth at home.
- Do you have social support around your life choices?
Knowing yourself and thinking about how you may feel when making a choice that bucks against current societal "norms" is important — what is your plan for dealing with those feelings and where can you find community support, if you know that home birth is the right choice for you?
- Are you ready, able and wiling to take responsibility for your health during pregnancy, labor and postpartum?
Midwives are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to health. We can give you every tool available, but it is up to you to use the information and tools. Are you prepared to care for yourself and to take ownership of the decisions you make, regarding your healthcare?
- How do you view pregnancy and birth?
Do you see the childbearing year as a normal, physiological process that occasionally needs medical intervention or do you see pregnancy and birth as a medical event in a person's life?
There is so much that goes into the decision of where to give birth, much more than we've listed here, but these questions are a good place to start.